Sunday, January 11, 2015

Why crime writers struggle to write theses

This academic writing business is strange. And you'd think that someone who is accustomed to sitting herself down and writing 1000 words a day on a novel would have a distinct advantage when it came to the long haul of writing a thesis. But apparently not! And it is my crime writer side that is struggling the most.

Want to know why? (of course you do, but it was only polite to ask.) As a crime writer it is my goal to surprise you at the end, so you don't know until the last who did the dastardly deed, so that you get that aha moment and you think, of course the clues were all there, but I still didn't see that coming. If I can achieve that aha moment for my readers and I have satisfied them as they turn those last pages, I am a happy gal.

Academic writing is the opposite. Academics don't like surprises. I am supposed to tell them what happens in the first sentence of the paragraph. I am supposed to be upfront about where it is going and guide my readers through my thought processes. Can you imagine how much that grates a crime writer?!!! Every creative urge in my mind fights against it.